Fifteenth Air Force against the Axis: Combat Missions over Europe during World War II

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Scarecrow Press, Apr 25, 2013 - History - 518 pages
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In Fifteenth Air Force against the Axis: Combat Missions over Europe during World War II, historian Kevin A. Mahoney provides a detailed combat history of the crucial role played by this air force from November 1943 through May 1945. Presented by month in chronological order, Mahoney describes all the major bombing and fighter missions carried out by this air force within a strategic context. Each chapter includes an introduction describing developments in the evolution of the strategic air campaign against the Germans, highlights the purpose and importance of the month’s operations, and reviews the Luftwaffe’s resistance and changes in tactics and important developments in the Fifteenth Air Force’s organization.

Each monthly narrative further explores most missions, detailing the number of aircraft lost during these missions. Losses are based on an exhaustively researched database compiled by Mahoney that contains details of almost 3,000 aircraft. Target damage is mentioned, while enemy opposition is also described for each mission. Appendices include four short essays on bombing operations (planning and flying of missions, tactics and techniques, bomb types, and bombing accuracy), tactics employed by fighter escort in aerial combat and strafing, combat crews and their aircraft (including a comparison of American fighters and bombers, the training of the crews, and their combat tours), and the Fifteenth Air Force command structure (including the use of intelligence, photo and weather reconnaissance, and the considerable effect of weather on Fifteenth Air Force operations). This work of military history is ideal for students and scholars of the air war in Europe.
  

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Contents

Chapter 1 Creation of theFifteenth Air Force
1
Chapter 2 November 1943
5
Chapter 3 December 1943
19
Chapter 4 January 1944
33
Chapter 5 February 1944
53
Chapter 6 March 1944
67
Chapter 7 April 1944
81
Chapter 8 May 1944
103
Chapter 16 January 1945
311
Chapter 17 February 1945
321
Chapter 18 March 1945
347
Chapter 19 AprilMay 1945
375
Chapter 20 Summing Up
401
Appendix 1 Command Structure Intelligence Photo Reconnaissance and Weather
407
Appendix 2 Bomber Operations
411
Appendix 3 Fighter Operations
417

Chapter 9 June 1944
133
Chapter 10 July 1944
163
Photospread
194
Chapter 11 August 1944
195
Chapter 12 September 1944
223
Chapter 13 October 1944
245
Chapter 14 November 1944
265
Chapter 15 December 1944
287
Appendix 4 Crews and Their Aircraft
421
Glossary
425
Chapter Source Notes
429
Bibliography
447
Index of Targets Bombed by the Fifteenth Air Force
459
Chapter Introductions and Appendices Index
477
About the Author
485
Copyright

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About the author (2013)

Kevin A. Mahoney is a 20th-century military historian and museum exhibition database consultant. He is author of Formidable Enemies: The North Korean and Chinese Soldier in the Korean War (2001) and has written several articles about military history subjects.

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